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Why can't I select text and/or objects in PDF-XChange Viewer or PDF-XChange Editor?


Why can't I select text and/or objects in PDF-XChange Editor?

For example, I have highlighted text and I would like to select the text beneath the highlight. However, when I click the text it is the highlight that becomes selected and not the text.

Another example is when I have added a shape annotation to a document to which I then attempt to add a text box. The shape annotation is selected when I click to add the text box, instead of the text box being added.


PDF-XChange Editor gives priority to annotations before existing content/empty space. If there is an annotation beneath the pointer when it is clicked, then the annotation will be selected instead of the active tool being used.

Additionally, it is possible that Exclusive Mode has been enabled accidentally (see below for further information).

If text cannot be selected then it is possible that the software is not recognizing the text because it is image-based (such as scanned content). Optical character recognition can be used in these cases. See here for further information.


Press and hold Shift to ignore existing annotations when tools are used.

Alternatively, Exclusive Mode can be used to give the active tool priority over all other document content. It is available in the Format Tab when applicable tools are selected:

Click to enable Exclusive Mode and then use tools as normal. Click it a second time to disable Exclusive Mode.

Please note that when Exclusive Mode is enabled it is not possible to select forms and other objects. Therefore, it may also be the cause of not being able to select text/objects in cases where it is enabled accidentally.

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